Arsenal 3-1 Burnley: Good enough …


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At times it felt like it was going to be one of those frustrating days. A team that came to sit deep and defend did that pretty well for most of the first half. I wasn’t sure if that was how Burnley would approach this, but you can understand why they did. It was more a case of whether or not they’d be able to keep it up, and I think we saw signs towards the end of the first period that there were just some cracks in their concentration.

We had come close a couple of times. Bukayo Saka’s instant right-footed shot from inside the box looked for all the world like it was going to hit the top corner, but James Trafford made an absolutely outstanding save to deny him. One of the best you’ll see all season, honestly. He also stood up well to a Leandro Trossard effort, and there was a chance for Kai Havertz who headed over when he should have done better.

At the other end a slight mistake from William Saliba presented Burnley with an excellent opportunity to open the scoring, but much like his opposite number, David Raya made a very good save to deny Johann Gudmundsson. That was a big moment, I don’t think I’d have fancied an hour against a team scrapping to hold a one goal lead.

As I said though, I think they found the going tough, because this sitting deep stuff isn’t really what they do. Obviously they doubled up on Saka and Martinelli, but doing that means someone else can find space, and that’s how the opening goal arrived. Martinelli had two players to contend with so he rolled it back to Oleksandr Zinchenko who sent in a hopeful cross. It was one that Saka attacked and headed on towards Trossard, who was brave to nod it home at the near post.

The Belgian was hurt in the process, taking a whack to the forearm – which is a shame because that will surely inhibit him when it comes to clobbering opposition players in the head without censure – but that connection between him and Saka…


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Publish date : 2023-11-12 07:54:15

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